Aces' A'ja Wilson Moved to Tears After Exhibition Game at Her Old College Arena

Sep 29, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson (22) walks off the court.
Sep 29, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson (22) walks off the court. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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This has been an offseason to remember for Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson.

After winning a second WNBA title in 2023, Wilson received her own signature shoe from Nike. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady wrote the two-time MVP a glowing testimonial essay in the pages of Time.

All the adulation meted out to her came to a head Saturday at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C. The Aces played an exhibition game against the Puerto Rican national team at Wilson's collegiate stomping grounds—the same arena where the Columbia native made four All-America teams for South Carolina.

After the game, local fans gave Wilson an ovation that moved her to tears.

"Thank you! Thank you guys! Thank you guys!" Wilson yelled to cheers and applause.

Wilson scored 27 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as Las Vegas dismantled the 11th-ranked team in the world 102–50. The Aces are scheduled to open regular-season play Tuesday evening against the Phoenix Mercury.


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.